How to get into the NICU?

  1. I have been trying to get a position in a NICU for a year now. Does anyone have any suggestions that could help me get in? Nobody around here wants new NICU nurses.. and the people that get them.. just flukes I guess... like.. not even going in to interview for that position and them offering it. I am incredibly frustrated. This is the only thing I ever wanted to do.. this is WHY i went to nursing school!

    I took the first job I could, in psych. Now, FINALLY, I've been offered a job in a hospital an hour away.. in physical medicine. I am getting incredibly discouraged. This is all I've ever wanted to do.

    I did my clinical leadership(capstone) in the NICU, and I am NRP and PALS certified.
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    About NICU<3RN

    Joined: Apr '09; Posts: 35; Likes: 25
    RN; from US
    Specialty: 3 year(s) of experience in NICU


  3. by   babyNP.
    If you look around on this board, there are so many people in your exact position. The economy isn't great, so nurses are staying longer and many NICU RNs are cradle-grave type, i.e. stay in NICU until they retire.

    I think you need to seriously consider moving out of state if this is your dream. That's how I got my job back in 2008, though I was 22 back then and unencumbered by any children or a spouse. It might even be very hard to get into a NICU into another state at this point and you might want to consider applying for a peds job in a children's hospital and then doing an internal transfer a year later.

    Best of luck, let us know how it's worth it for me and I can't imagine doing anything else.
  4. by   romaniam
    I agree with the poster above. If you don't have any encumbrances, I suggest applying to jobs in other states if you can't find anything where you currently live.As the other poster suggested, you can try for a Peds position. You may also want to consider Mother-Baby or Labor and Delivery. I got my start in Mother-Baby and then did a Nurse Residency at a Level II NICU. Good luck.
  5. by   NICU_babyRN
    I also agree!
    You may have to broaden your search A LOT, write a very strong cover letter, talk about how the hospital matches what you look for as an employer, taking into account the mission and values of that hospital. You should be open to explore "all opportunities" in an institution so you can at least get your feet within reach of a NICU. Internal applicants get dibs many times.
    The NICU where I work has a total of 13 OPEN FTEs in the NICU yet we are on a hiring freeze. The nurses are all enjoying the overtime and they are not talking about hiring ONE person. And that person is likely going to be one of our 4 nursing assistants who just graduated from nursing school and have been working on our unit for a couple of years.
    It's a tough tough market. You'll have t sell yourself and I don't mean in the "it's all i've ever dreamed of doing" sense.

    If it's what you aspire to do, be patient, write an excellent cover letter, follow up with HR and at least try to get into a hospital where there is a NICU! Even if it means moving.